Ageing population needs to plan for future and access legal advice

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A recent YouGov survey has found that over-65s are dissatisfied with the label's 'old' and 'elderly'. Around 63% agreed that being old was just a state of mind and refused to identify with the word. Many of those over 65 feel they are being marginalised and 47% complained about ageism.

Elderly

One in 5 expressed they didn't like discussing getting older as they don't want to feel like a burden on their families. However, as the number of over-65s is set to double in the next 40 years, many will need to discuss their future and use legal services to put their affairs in order.

Talking about getting older


In the UK 1 in 3 people die without making a will leaving families unsure about where their loved one's money will go. When someone passes away without making a will, the law decides who gets what in regards to your property, personal possessions and cash.

In the UK, 17,000 people aged over 65 suffer from dementia and 1 in 3 of these will die from it. Figures like this show how important it is to talk about issues like getting older. Thinking about what provisions you have put in place if there ever is a time you lose the capacity to make decisions for yourself will also help your loved ones take better care of you.

Planning for your long-term care


There may be a tendency for older people to hide care needs from their loved ones which makes it difficult for them to get the support they need. You should consider speaking to a solicitor about granting someone Lasting Powers of Attorney. This means you will have a reliable person who can take care of your financial and welfare needs when you may be unable to.

A survey showed that nearly half of all over-65s did not know how much they need to pay in long-term care fees. Despite the fact that large numbers of people are expected to need care because as they live longer, their health fades. With the right legal advice you can set up a living will to state what medical decisions you would like to make in the future. Should the need arise you can appoint a relative to make these decisions for you.

Know Your Legal Rights


A lawyer experienced in elderly legal services at Simpson Millar LLP said: "This survey confirms that many of us find talking about getting older a difficult subject and put off planning for this. We are living to increasing ages and there are associated problems that inevitably accompany this, such as risk of dementia or physical ailments. If, as a society, we can become more comfortable with talking about our possible needs as we grow older it will enable us to plan effectively and take the uncertainty and anxiety away from some of the problems older people can encounter.

"This is really important and not dealing with arrangements early on causes far more distress to the elderly person and their family. Planning need not be complicated. It involves putting in place a will so that it is clear what will happen after death. Equally important is planning for possible loss of capacity – putting in place a Lasting Power of Attorney enables someone to nominate trusted family members to be their attorneys and to make financial or welfare decisions if ever they cannot do so for themselves."

"There is also scope for financial planning leading up to retirement and beyond which can make a lifetime's savings go as far as possible."

"Once plans are in place the elderly person and their families have increased peace of mind and can then get on with living life."


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